Jemalong Sculpture Garden

The Jemalong Interactive Sculpture garden was produced with residents and staff at the Jemalong Residential Village, Dementia Unit in Forbes, NSW, Australia. 

Over the month of January 2017 artists, Damian Castaldi and Solange Kershaw worked at the Jemalong Residential Village to develop the work, which they then produced in their home studio in Kandos.

The artists had meetings and workshops with residents and were advised and helped by staff members Krystyna Anderson, Janet Hannon, Merryl Morris, Gwen Barnard, Dean Martyn and Christine McMillan, the Arts OutWest Arts and Health Coordinator.

This video documents the day of installation at the village, on Wednesday the 19th of July, 2017.

Staff members: Janet Hannon, Krystyna Anderson, Merryl Morris, GwenBarnard, Christine McMillan, the Arts OutWest Arts and Health Coordinator and Dean Martyn.

The residents had previously made and exhibited artworks with Christine McMillan and Ro Burns. As part of that process the artists were able to work with the subject matter, themes and content inspired by this exhibition of work.

These ideas included working with the residents’ early memories of rural upbringing, life on the farm or in town, travelling to and from school by foot, horse or pushbike, living with animals and dancing and singing in their local dance halls.

The four pieces created for this project took the form of cylindrical, upright bollards, three of which house mechanical movement and sound.

The four pieces include sculptures in the form of a horses head converted from a 1950’s tricycle seat. The animal’s head was inspired by a clay sculpture made by the resident, Jim.

Two sets of wire and pencil drawn clothes hanging above fans on a wire clothesline inspired by a drawing made by the resident, Lilian.

And a small clay porcupine rotating on a circular turnstile, the clay model made by the resident Robyn.

The music that accompanies the sculptures was chosen from the residents early memories of dancing to Frank Bourke & The White Rose Orchestra playing in their local dance halls in and around Forbes and Parkes. A selection of tracks from the album “Old Time Songs Everybody Knows” has been selected to play in sequence whenever the porcupine sculpture is triggered. The interactive movement and sound of the artworks are triggered by close range passive infra red sensors. Moving within 2 to 3 meters of them will trigger their sound and movement.

The artists would like to thank everyone for working with them on this project. They hope that their artwork brings some joy and music to the daily life of the residents and staff in this village. They would also like to give a special thanks to Catholic Healthcare's Jemalong Residential Village, The Jemalong Residential Village Fundraising Group, Christine McMillan and Arts OutWest for their support and funding for this project.

Arts OutWest is the regional arts development organisation for the NSW Central West. Arts OutWest promotes, educates, facilitates and advocates for arts and cultural development.

All images & video © The Last Bureau 2017

All music © Frank Bourke & the White Rose Orchestra